I thought I would recap the first half of 2020 – the year dedicated to Satan! I’m sure everyone can relate to this inspirational six months.
The year started off splendidly. So full of promise and adventure. So, we thought. Shortly after New Year, we left for a cruise around South America and to Antarctica. A truly bucket list destination. Part of the cruise involved flying from the southern tip of South America onto Antarctica on a Chilean air force plane. But several days before we were to leave, we were informed that a similar flight had crashed onto Antarctica and that our flight had been cancelled. That set an ominous tone to the trip.
Other than some bad weather, the cruise didn’t go too bad. I read about a new virus that was spreading through Wuhan, China. I thought this wouldn’t be a good thing to happen on a cruise ship. A couple of days later, I was hit with an intestinal illness and confined to my stateroom. I was sure it was COVID.
We arrived back in Canada on February 1, and not a day too soon. The coronavirus had already reached North America and Toronto had already several cases, people who had recently visited Wuhan. Anticipating what was to come, I was already stockpiling coffee, wine, certain foods and of course toilet paper. I also cancelled our planned cruise for the summer to the Baltic Sea.
About the middle of the month, I developed a horrible cough. I had already had a bout of pneumonia in November. This time I was sure it was COVID.
March was a time to prepare for the pandemic. Although many people had the impression that this would only last a few weeks, I figured it would be 12-18 months. I began sourcing all those things we would normally go out to purchase. I arranged for grocery and meat deliveries. We were determined to increase Jeff Bezos’ net worth.
Once the cases being reported included ones transmitted within the general community, I decided that because I’m immune compromised, it was time to go into quarantine. The last day I was out in public was March 10. I was at a Maple Leafs hockey game and someone had tried to high five when the Leafs had scored. I was sure he was COVID.
The next day I set up my bubble and disappeared.
We settled into a routine that rarely varied. We would get up and have breakfast. Then go out for a daily walk. After a shower, I would head to the office and write. A break for lunch and then back to writing. Then I would make dinner and post the final result on Instagram. Our bubble included my daughter’s family. Twice a week, my older grandson would spend a day with us to give his mother a break.
We were getting mixed signals from the government about the transmission of the virus and what activity was risky which left me stuck at home. First, we were told not to wear masks. Then we were told to wear them out of the house. No one was sure if outdoor transmission was a problem. How long does the virus survive on surfaces? Some people suggested not long but others said it could be days.
Whether it was the anxiety created from the fear of infection or from isolation, I began to experience joint pain and fatigue. It was a flare up of my autoimmune condition. But I was convinced it was COVID.
The routine was getting monotonous, but I managed to finish the manuscript I was working on and had begun a new one. But my joint pain had gotten bad enough that I had essentially stopped my daily walks, so I was barely getting out of the house. And the weather here in May was absolutely miserable.
At the end of the month, I actually ventured out for my first shopping encounter in about 2.5 months. I dropped in at an outdoor garden centre to buy some plants for my garden. I was totally paranoid as I rushed through the place with mask and gloves and grabbed what I needed. When I got home, I hopped into the shower. A couple days later my wife woke up with a sore throat. I was sure she had COVID.
As the infection rate dropped in Ontario, we began to cautiously re-open the economy. In early June my acupuncturist was allowed to re-open. I had the first appointment on her first day to begin treating my swollen joints. It would take the entire month to get back to normal. By late June, I decided we would accept an invitation for an outdoor visit with friends. They had been as cautious as we have been, so I felt it was safe.
My wife learned that her hair salon was re-opening and immediately made an appointment. I was sure we were now finally going to get COVID.